Posted by: Chris | June 10, 2011

Child Development: Myths and Misunderstandings [Podcast]

The podcast of Colin’s interview of Dr. Jean Mercer can be downloaded here. She is the author of the book reviewed earlier here.

It is incredibly fascinating. She covers common myths, uncommon myths and stories that made my jaw drop. This afternoon I wandered around her blog, Child Myths, and it covers lots of ground.  She did blog about this interview. Though this article made me angry. Going through several articles I came across several interesting and odd ideas about parenting from history, and present day that she dissects and evaluates. After data overload I needed some therapy myself, garden therapy. So I went to the back garden and watered my veggies while breathing the intoxicating aroma of my wall of wisteria:

The Wall of Wisteria

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Responses

  1. Ugh. That article IS horrifying. My husband’s aunt has severe developmental disabilities and my father-in-law put her in a state institution over twenty years ago (not wanting to pay for the private one anymore – they pretty much abandoned her). It makes me wonder if she has suffered any such abuse. Very sad.

    Maybe I’m naive but I think if a parent has gotten to the point where they need to be trained how to physically restrain their child (to the point someone might call CPS) there is something intrinsically wrong with their parenting ability to begin with and brute force is only going to make it worse. Since my daughter is only 7 years old this may come back and bite me in the butt when she’s a teenager, but my attitude toward parenting is much like training horses (who are probably a bit less difficult than teenagers). You instill from the get-go a sense of respect for your authority as the leader and an advocate. You want the horse (child) to grow up *wanting* to do what’s right. Not doing what’s right because they fear you’ll overpower them and punish them. Of course, teaching them to want to do what’s right does involve punishment and consequences because that’s life, but this making the child (or horse) fear you just means they will be more clever at not getting caught. Or just one day rebel and show you they can over-power you and that’ll be the end of that. Thankfully, I have never bullied a horse to the point where they decided to “show me” and I’m hoping not to do that with a teenager … who might be a bit scarier than a horse.

    So, my question to the world is – why is this such a tough concept for people in our society to get that they end up going to these awful conferences to learn how to bully their children???

    • I am sure Dr. Mercer is asking the same question. And now you know why I needed some garden therapy near the wall of wisteria.

  2. Beautiful wisteria by the way! My favorite vine ever!

    • Thank you. It was a Mother’s Day gift about ten years ago. It is presently perfuming our fairly small back yard.


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